Unlocking the Editing Dilemma: The Pitfalls of Dev Mode on textadventure.co.uk and more

My other post on some great tips: https://textadventures.co.uk/forum/general/topic/iycrdejlveqqdmcquutuma/text-adventure-game-tips

I don't harbor any ill will towards textAdventures.co.uk, but it's important to acknowledge that the site does have its share of issues, based on my user experience. While it offers a platform for creating interactive text adventures, it's not without its imperfections. One notable concern arises when you enable "Dev Mode" to test your game using alternative methods; doing so can lead to your game malfunctioning. If you seek assistance from the site's administrators, you may encounter unresponsive support.
Dev Mode is practically "Death Mode" for your game because all chances of editing it without downloading it are gone.
The problem associated with Dev Mode, which is essentially a "Death Mode" for your game on textadventure.co.uk, is that enabling this mode can render your game uneditable. When I attempted to make edits to my game with Dev Mode turned on, the game failed to load. The editor remained stuck on the loading screen without ever allowing me to access and edit my own game. This issue proved to be a significant obstacle, hindering my progress in completing the game.

Moreover, there's a 20 MB limitation on the file size for your game, which can be restrictive for those looking to create more extensive projects. However, the issues go beyond just the file size limitation. The website operates on a free plan with its developers, which means they may not be willing to invest in an upgraded plan. Consequently, this can result in difficulties downloading your games. In more extreme cases, if the developers opt to migrate to a different platform, you risk losing access to your existing games, as they may have to start from scratch using alternative software, such as wix.com.

I personally had to navigate these challenges years after I realized the limitations of the platform. I had to resort to downloading my games from my mobile device, saving the gameplay from being only available through the "preview" mode, which doesn't permit saving.

To avoid such predicaments, I strongly advise against pursuing extensive projects exclusively on the site. It's wise to make your game downloadable from the outset. To ensure that players have access to the necessary software, consider including a link to the required software within your game's zip folder. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Visit textAdventures.co.uk and navigate to the "Create" section, specifically to the "Quest" button, and click on the option "Download quest for Windows."

  2. There will be an option that says "Download Quest 5.8.0," get the link to the software (e.g., Quest 5.8.0) by right-clicking the download link and selecting "Copy link address."

  3. In your document or game description, insert a hyperlink with text like "Click here to download the host software for the game." Hyperlink this: https://github.com/textadventures/quest/releases/download/5.8.0/quest580.exe within the text. Clicking this link will cause you to immediately download the software.

  4. Additionally, include the original link to https://textadventures.co.uk/quest/desktop along with a mention to provide proper credit to the software creators.

For added clarity, consider incorporating the link (e.g., textadventures.co.uk/Quest/desktop) directly into your game's description, allowing players to download the software when needed. Furthermore, ensure you include instructions in the game description to guide players on where and what to download, emphasizing that the host software is essential for playing the game.

It's essential to consistently use "HTTPS://" when accessing websites and avoid "HTTP://" because the "S" in "HTTPS" signifies "SECURE." A link without the "S" will not direct you to a secure website.

Always ensure that you utilize platforms like Teespring for digital uploads. This is why I strongly recommend linking to https://textadventures.co.uk/quest/desktop instead of sharing the direct download link. Uploading content on Teespring may lead to legal issues since the platform typically doesn't allow free distribution.

However, when it comes to itch.io, their moderation is, unfortunately, notably relaxed. They don't effectively segregate unsafe-for-work (NSFW) content from safe-for-work (SFW) content. While Steam provides a more controlled environment for browsing games without encountering NSFW works, itch.io has fewer content restrictions. Unfortunately, this leniency means that game covers can include explicit sexual content.

For young readers, I strongly recommend using a platform like Teespring with parental supervision. If you choose to use itch.io, involve your parents in the process and configure your settings to filter out NSFW games.

In such cases, an alternative approach is to leverage Twitter and the gaming community. Search for the hashtag #screenshotsaturday and share a captivating screenshot or promotional image of your game. Then, provide a direct link to your game. This strategy allows you to avoid accidental exposure to NSFW content, which may be present on itch.io due to other users' uploads. If the need arises, you can also host your game on platforms like TeraBox or Google Drive and share it with interested individuals by providing them with a direct link.

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